Chino in the Movies and Myth
Chino and the surrounding county area of San Bernardino, have been a center of dairy farming, serving the considerable demands for milk products in Southern California and much of the southwestern United States......It is also well-known as the sites of three major California state prisons: the California Institution for Men, the California Institution for Women, and the California Youth Authority.....I put in an application at the Chino Men's prison after my return to the area from my third tour of Vietnam....And Since I served with the Shore Patrol while in the service, I figured I would have a good chance of getting a job....Wrong!....I was disqualified when asked the question "If you witnessed a prisoner escaping and trying to get over the wall what would you do?"....I response, I would shoot the guy.....Wrong answer....I guess they were looking for something like I would sound the alarm and call for reinforcements.....In The Shore Patrol, we were taught to shoot first and ask questions later after all of the bullets had stopped flying.
Chino has been mentioned several times in movies and TV series.....In one TV series, called New Port Beach?, the main character, Ryan Atwood, is a tough kid from Chino adopted into a wealthy family in Newport Beach.....In the series, Chino is depicted as a dreary slum. The negative depiction of Chino led to complaints from city officials that Chino was being depicted as a "dirtbag town."....Shortly afterwards the series was canceled as well.
Infamous Rap artist Snoop Dogg mentions Chino, although, he general means the Men's Prison (Some say he has a private room there), in some of his songs, notably in Murder Was the Case.
The Grateful Dead performs a song titled "Friend of the Devil", that refers to Chino, but, again a reference to the Men's Prison , written by Chino Resident Robert Hunter.
Chino is mentioned in the TV-series 24, when a prisoner mentions people got sniped in the head during a prison break there.....Actually I have heard the word Chino referred to in the series "24" several times, also the "Shield" and "Law and Order"
Chino was used as a location during the filming of the movie Back to the Future, particularly the farmland setting when Marty first travels back in time to 1955.....The exact location was off of Grand Ave past Chino Ave along Brea Canyon Road just before it heads up to Sleepy Hollow.
Chino is also home to one of the most horrendous horror urban myths ever, simply because of its prison history, which makes the possiblity of such a crime even more probable....In reality, it never happened, but it has been used in several horror movies over the years and always with a new twist....It has been used in the Jason films, Friday the 13th, The Hills Have Eyes and even the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.....And that would be the story of the one armed killer who wears a hook for a left hand, and he is always seeking cars that break down out in the Chino Hills Area along Grand Ave, even old highway 71, or Euclid Ave down where the Olympic Shooting Range is....And it always has to be a damp dreary night with no moon and low fog filling all of the canyons and gully's that lead off to the Prado Dam Area.
So the next time you are down on Euclid, or heading down the 71 freeway, just make sure, that if you break down, you have someone with you, or a cell phone and the CHP show up fast....Come to think about it....Watch out for the tow truck drivers too......You never know about them types do you.....If you see a hook....RUN!
Gary Hall the ghostpainter